Leading up to a much anticipated December 18th, Lucasfilm has promised us glimpses into the galaxy as we Journey to The Force Awakens. In addition to the epic Aftermath novel, there are also junior novels being released in that unknown-post-Return of the Jedi-era that people like me are dying to read!
Smuggler’s Run is a Han Solo and Chewbacca story that bridges the Empire era with the new First Order/Resistance era. As far as all the little “clues” and things there are a few but the book is really just its own little adventure. You know how these young adult books go straight to the action and this one is no exception so let’s get started!
The book opens with a few tough customers talking ships and what makes the best. An “old man” overhears them and offers to tell a story about the best ship: the Millennium Falcon. The adventure flashes back to a post-A New Hope adventure with our favorite smuggling duo Han and Chewie on a mission to rescue a rebel named Ematt who is leader of a group called the Shrikes. The group’s mission is to find locations for Rebel bases. (If you’re following any TFA rumors/spoilers that name may ring a bell.) I like the idea of this group as both a cool idea and as a security measure–a small group of super-elite scouts who are all willing to die before revealing their intel. Sounds pretty awesome. The actual story is filled with lots of swashbuckling smuggler/Wookiee ass-kicking action so if you want a fun Solo story this is definitely a good read. I’m a huge fan of the characters that populate this galaxy far, far away and so I was super intrigued by all the new characters we meet. Beck is an ISB agent renown for her ruthless and efficient tactics. She’s all super cool officer style, with a cybernetic eye and a great story to go along with it. A droid-Kubaz-Gran bounty hunting team that once again makes me wonder about how common droid bounty hunters are seen nowadays (back in my day we just had IG-88 and 4-LOM; now the list grows longer every minute! C21-Highsinger, IG-90, whatever this thing is… and I’m just gonna count BT-1…) Delia Leighton, proprietor of the Miss Fortune: a ship that lands where it pleases and opens into a cantina. And finally Ematt, the man whom this entire book seems to be centered on introducing us to, prominent Rebel and member of the Shrikes.
The book is bookended as if told as a story which is actually kind of fun. It connects the eras in an entertaining way. I really love the idea of the ship that’s basically a mobile cantina and while just a little piece of the story it’s just such a Star Wars idea I really enjoyed it.The characters are all intriguing and I’m sure we’ve been introduced to them for a reason. In the canon so far we’ve had a Luke Skywalker book and a Princess Leia comic so it’s great to see some canon storytelling from Solo’s point of view as it’s one thing we’ve been missing so far (but I’m sure we’ll have lots more in the future)! Give it a read if you want a nice dose of adventure!